If you picture Nangang District in your mind what do you see? The train station? The exhibition centre? The giant software park? I bet you didn’t envision quiet hillsides cloaked with neat rows of tea. This trail offers an insight into a side of Nangang that not so many people know about.
what to do in Taiwan
BANPING SHAN AND TEAPOT MOUNTAIN LOOP （半屏山/無耳茶壺山O型)
This is the perfect half-day hike for adventure-seekers who want to explore the many and varied delights of Taiwan’s marvellous northeastern coast.
XIONG KONG NAN SHAN and YUNSEN FALLS (熊空南山/雲森瀑布)
This has definitely been one of my favourite hikes of the year. The walk starts with a reasonable climb through quiet and multi-layered forests to a peak that remained cool and breezy even in the summer heat. Then tracks down again to follow the playful Zhongkeng Stream as it spills and bounces it’s way through the valley. There are mountain views, grand waterfalls and even swimming holes to be enjoyed along the way. I will be adding this to my list of places to take visiting friends.
CHERRY BLOSSOM, OLD CANALS AND HOT SPRINGS IN BEITOU DISTRICT (風尾步道/頂圳步道/拐圳步道/龍鳳谷步道)
During the first three months of the year, this trail in Beitou is popular with sakura seekers. But even if you miss out on the beautiful blossoming trees, this walk still has plenty to offer. The walk takes in irrigation canals, streams, plenty of small temples and the dramatic sight of Sulphur Valley.
BEIDELAMAN GIANT TREES (北得拉曼巨木步道)
Although most of Taiwan’s giant trees are found in remote forests with permit-restricted access, there are some just a short drive out of Taipei which can be seen by anyone willing to make the climb. (And who wouldn’t be willing to put in a bit of effort to visit these venerable old spirits.)
SANCHONG AND LUZHOU CYCLE LOOP
If you look at Sanchong and Luzhou on a map, they seem to form an island, cut off from the rest of Taipei by rivers and parks. Luckily for the residents of this area, these unbuilt-up spaces house a great network of cycle paths where you can enjoy either a good bit of exercise or a laid back bike ride depending on your mood and energy levels.
YUAN SHAN HIKING TRAIL (鳶山登山步道)
The first hike that comes to mind when thinking of Sanxia District is the ever-popular Wuliaojian trail. But if you’re not feeling up to such a tough climb, you could always set your sights on this not-so-extreme ridge walk.
SHEZI ISLAND CYCLE PATH (社子島自行車道)
This easy cycle route will show you around a less often visited nook of Taipei City. Jutting out between the Keelung and Danshui rivers, Shezi island has lots to offer avian aficionados. Those less interested in the birds can still enjoy the scenes of a quieter way of life.
BATTLESHIP ROCK TO XIN BEITOU (軍艦岩往新北投)
You can combine a visit to this photogenic rock outcrop with a not-too-difficult walk to a rather pretty Japanese shrine and end up right next to Beitou's famous sulphur valley.
FENG QI SUNSET TRAIL (鳳崎落日步道)
An easy and leisurely afternoon walk taking in military relics. Bring your significant other and aim to finish the walk around sundown so that you can watch the sunset together as you gaze out over the Taiwan Strait.
HUTOU SHAN PARK WALK (虎頭山公園)
A gentle and shaded forest park, walk - come here to get a feel for how the locals like to spend family weekends together.
CAOLING HISTORIC TRAIL (草嶺古道)
This historic and very accessible trail will take you over the hills from Dali to Fulong next to an inviting river stream. Better yet, you can look forward to a refreshing swim once you've reached your destination.
WAI WA ZI SHAN TO HONGLUDI NANSHAN FUDE TEMPLE (外挖子山步道-烘爐地南山福德宮)
A ridge trail which skirts the southern edge of Taipei and takes in a couple of notable temples along the way.
SECRET SPOT OF WU LAO KENG
Sometimes the summer heat here in Taiwan makes hiking an unappealing prospect. For the days when you just wish to laze in cool liquid you can head to this watering hole south of Yilan which is literally hidden under a bridge.
QI TOU HIKING TRAIL (崎頭步道)
A hike fit for even the most devoted of gym bunnies.